IF you're a supporter of Scottish independence who has had a stroke, high blood pressure, or a heart attack, watching BBC Question Time is really not advisable. 

In fact, it's not advisable for anyone who isn't a Tory or a fully paid-up member of the Nigel Farage fan club. This is, after all, the programme which has done more than any other media outlet to normalise hard right discourse in British politics. 

Last night's show in Aberdeen was no different. The panel featured the SNP's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, and in the interests of balance it also had Scottish Tory MSP Meghan Gallacher, Conservative commentator Iain Dale, Uber-Unionist Starmer apologist Anas Sarwar, but this time it also featured Alba leader and former First Minister Alex Salmond, so independence supporters were only outnumbered three to two, there's BBC balance for you. 

The National:

The panel was only 40% Tory if you don't count Anas Sarwar, whose party leader is an enthusiastic proponent of some of the vilest Conservative policies of the past fourteen years, and of course if you don't count host Fiona Bruce, whose Conservative sympathies have long been evident. 

If there's a reason why the BBC thinks that more than 40% Conservative representation in any way counts as balance in a politics show broadcast from Scotland, they're not saying.  

But we still had a panel on which there was but a single supporter of the Scottish Government and the largest political party in Scotland by any metric. That single representative was of course talked over and constantly interrupted. Far from intervening to ensure that Flynn could finish a sentence, Bruce was one of those most enthusiastically and frequently interrupting him. 

Thank God for my blood pressure medication, which is still free on prescription from NHS Scotland, although that may very well change should Starmer's little helper Sarwar ever get to become first minister. His party's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting is an enthusiastic advocate for greater private sector involvement in the NHS. 

The National: Alex Salmon said after reading the Prime Minister’s full speech he believes his comments

Also on the programme, Alex Salmond took aim at Rishi Sunak's scaremongering speech earlier this week in which he bracketed supporters of Scottish independence as "extremists" along with authoritarian regimes and violent protestors. 

The former first minister pointed out that the campaign for Scottish independence has been democratic and peaceful over many decades and that it is an “incredibly valuable thing” to achieve. 

He added: "I heard this extremist remark by Rishi Sunak and I thought that’s just a drowning Prime Minister thrashing about, pay no attention. 

“But actually, now I’ve read the full speech, this was a deliberate, this wasn’t an off-the-cuff silly remark, and I’ll tell you why it is so important, the real democratic point here. 

“Scottish nationalism in its modern form has been around for a 100 years and as a representative force in parliament for 50 years." 

“In that century not a single person has lost their life arguing for or against Scottish independence. Nobody has had so much as a nosebleed arguing for or against Scottish independence. 

“It has been civic, and it has been democratic it has been embraced whether in victory or defeat." 

He called Sunak's comments "outrageous." 

However, it is not exactly true that there has never been any violence associated with arguing for or against Scottish independence. It is absolutely and certainly true that there has never been violence perpetrated by supporters of Scottish independence despite all the fear mongering of the Conservative party. 

There has, however, been violence associated with right wing British nationalist and Orange Order thugs, most notably the day after the independence referendum in Glasgow in 2014 when British nationalist bully boys went on the rampage in the city centre, attacking any peaceful independence supporters that they encountered. 

There is a problem with extremism in Scottish politics, and that problem very squarely lies with sections of those opposed to independence, such as with the recent controversy over the Labour candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, who was deselected after her activity on social media came to light, liking and reposting a series of racist and Islamophobic posts, or the former Labour councillor in Glasgow who was suspended from the party after repeating far right talking points and liking social media posts made by a far-right political party. 

But if British nationalism can never bring itself to admit that it is in fact a form of nationalism, it is always going to be prey to far-right extremism and will never do anything to root out the problem. 

The end of another co-operation agreement 

In Wales, Plaid Cymru has ended its co-operation agreement with the Welsh Labour Government with immediate effect, the party leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has said. 

The National: Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth

In a statement explaining his decision to end the co-operation agreement, the Plaid Cymru leader said: "I remain deeply concerned that the First Minister had failed to repay the £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a company convicted of environmental offences and believe it demonstrates a significant lack of judgement. Money left over has now been passed on to Keir Starmer's Labour party." 

This would be the Labour administration which recently changed First Minister after Mark Drakeford resigned and was replaced by former health minister Vaughan Gething. 

Labour's Scottish branch manager, Sarwar, defended his refusal not to call for an election in Wales while calling for one in Scotland, claiming that the minority Labour administration in Wales was stable. 

It's not looking so stable today, is it Anas?